Airport operator BAA may consider legal action if the Government continues to rule out a third runway at Heathrow.
As the Department for Transport produces its new aviation policy paper this month, the campaign in favour of Heathrow's expansion is growing.
BAA is about to produce a report which is expected to highlight that because Heathrow is running at full capacity, the UK risks losing trade, inward investment and tourism.
It is also considering a legal challenge having studied how in 2002 two councils successfully mounted a judicial review against the former Labour government’s refusal to consider the case for expanding Gatwick airport, reports the Financial Times.
More than 100 top businessmen, consumer and political figures joined the campaign this weekend, signing a letter urging the Government to reopen discussions about a third runway.
Business leaders believe poor air links to China, India and other emerging markets puts the Britain at a disadvantage.
The Department for Transport said it did not support the development of a third runway at Heathrow because of the "unacceptable environmental consequences."
BAA chief executive Colin Matthews will not talk about legal action until the Government’s aviation policy has been announced.
It estimates if the Government backed a third runway at Heathrow, it could open six to 10 years after the ministerial go-ahead.
The coalition government is considering a proposal for a new hub airport in the Thames estuary, but it would be unlikely to open until 2028 at the earliest.
By Diane Evans
Monday, March 5, 2012